The dan­ger from guns

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Re­gard­ing Court­land Milloy’s Feb. 6 Metro col­umn, “Gun bans are no sil­ver bul­let”:

Guns don’t kill peo­ple, and nei­ther should teach­ers. That ap­par­ently is Mr. Milloy’s con­tri­bu­tion to the cur­rent con­ver­sa­tion about end­ing gun vi­o­lence in the United States.

As a teacher in an ele­men­tary school, I strongly agree with his sec­ond point. But I would edit the first one to: Guns don’t kill peo­ple; peo­ple’s easy ac­cess to guns does.

Ev­ery devel­oped coun­try has men­tally ill peo­ple and vi­o­lent video games, movies and tele­vi­sion, but the United States stands alone in al­low­ing such easy ac­cess to guns. And — sur­prise! — it also has by far the high­est per capita mur­der rate among Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment coun­tries.

Gail Mel­son, Sil­ver Spring

Court­land Milloy wrote that, af­ter he blasted away with an AR-15, it was hard to pre­tend that “any gun was some­how more dan­ger­ous than the per­son hold­ing it.” Fair enough.

But then, with­out any ev­i­dence, he claimed that chil­dren are “ad­versely af­fected” by vi­o­lent video games, which seem to me no more dan­ger­ous than the per­son play­ing them.

Ira R. Allen, Bethesda

Re­gard­ing the Feb. 5 news ar­ti­cle “Both sides on gun con­trol turn­ing to women”:

As some women tout the ad­van­tage of hav­ing guns in their homes for pro­tec­tion, they would do well to pause and think about a mother in Con­necti­cut who owned many guns. She was un­able to pro­tect her­self from her own son, who killed her and then went to Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School and killed and killed and killed some more. With his mother’s guns.

Mau­reen Clark, Alexan­dria

I do not know what Richard Lampl was try­ing to say in his Feb. 5 let­ter de­scrib­ing the in­fan­tile be­hav­ior of two sup­posed adults try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate a nar­row drive­way, but Mr. Lampl’s at­tempt to drown out the other driver by turn­ing up the ra­dio like some hear-no-evil statue clearly was not pro­duc­tive. It took the fear that the other man had a gun to per­suade Mr. Lampl to stop his chest-beat­ing so the con­fronta­tion could be re­solved peace­fully.

Mr. Lampl won­dered if there is a mo­ral to his story. Isn’t it that our so­ci­ety would be more po­lite and less con­fronta­tional if we all be­lieved that the other per­son was armed and might re­spond with over­whelm­ing force if pro­voked?

Of course, that would also sug­gest of cur­rent U.S. so­ci­ety that we be­have nicely only un­der the threat of a spank­ing.

Philip Gall­man, McLean

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